My Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to checking out the movies that are releasing this year and I made a list of the ones I’m most excited about along with a quick blurb about why.  I tried to keep this post short, but I kinda failed.  They’re in no particular order except the order I found them in.

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – I love Pride and Prejudice so adding zombies can only make it better, right?  I think the picture above is proof of that.  Plus it has Matt Smith in it so…
  • Jane Got a Gun – the story sounds interesting plus Natalie Portman is in it which virtually guarantees I’ll see it
  • Pitch Perfect 2 – The first one was amazing and they kept all of the original cast including the awesome Anna Kendrick and the amazing Rebel Wilson
  • Dark Places – It has Chloe Grace Moretz in it which mean I have to see it and Charlize Theron is an extra bonus
  • Chappie – The story is intriguing (I’m a sucker for a developing AI) and it has Hugh Jackman who’s awesome and Dev Patel who was on my favorite show of all time (The Newsroom) so yes please.
  • Digging for Fire – It has a great cast including Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Melanie Lynskey, Ron Lingston, and Brie Larson plus it’s written and directed by the guy who did Drinking Buddies.
  • Sisters – I will literally watch anything that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do whether it’s movie, TV, or even a commercial for Apple (blech), plus Maya Rudolph is in it.
  • Suffragette – Meryl Streep is my spirit animal and probably the best actress ever and she’s teaming up with other favorite actress candidate Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter
  • Nasty Baby – Kristen Wiig is another person who makes a movie a guaranteed watch and there’s also Alia Shawkat for extra goodness.
  • Z for Zachariah – Post-apocalyptic movie + love triangle is all you need to know.  Also Chiwetel Ejiofor is in it.
  • Fantastic Four – I’m hoping it will redeem the franchise after the two travesties they made a while back and also, I can’t argue with Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan (loved him in Chronicle).
  • The Martian – I’ve started listening to the audio book and it’s super entertaining.  Plus previously mentioned favorites like Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, and Kate Mara are in it.
  • Freeheld – The LGBT rights angle has me somewhat interested, but I’ll mostly be seeing it for Ellen Page and Julianne Moore.
  • Room – The story is fairly interesting and Brie Larson is pretty much my favorite since she started in Short Term 12
  • Far From the Madding Crowd – First, I find the title super intriguing for some reason.  Second, the story seems right up my alley, and then there’s Carrey Mulligan and Juno Temple.
  • Untitled Christmas Eve Project – While there are several actress that will make a movie a must see, one of the few actors is Joseph Gordon-Levitt (gotta love JGL) and Lizzy Caplan is set to appear as well.
  • Ricki and the Flash – Another Meryl Streep movie and she’s teaming up with Diablo Cody who is one of my all time favorite writer/directors.
  • Ex Machina – Super interesting story and the writer behind Never Let Me Go and 28 Days Later (Alex Garland).
  • Spotlight – The story of how the Catholic priest molestation scandal came to light sounds like something I’d be interested in plus Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo.
  • Ant-Man – It’s a Marvel movie.  That’s all.
  • Jurrasic World – This one might be the one I’m most excited about.  Great franchise, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, DINOSAURS! and the trailer is soooooo goooood.
  • Blackhat – I debated listing this one because technology related movies can go so bad, but Chris Hemsworth is in it as well as Viola Davis who I have adored since Doubt.
  • Our Brand is Crisis – Zoe Kazan is in it so that’s all that needs to be said, but also, it’s got the same writer as Frank which was quite good.
  • Queen of Earth – The story caught my eye plus Elisabeth Moss
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – So much good in this one: it’s a Marvel movie, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, great plot, and the best two for last: Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen (squee!).
  • Joy – It’s written by David O. Russell who did I Heart Huckabees and Silver Linings Playbook (woot) and it’s reuniting Bradley Cooper and my girl Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Black Mass – The story sounds boring, but I can’t pass up Benedict Cumberbatch, Juno Temple, and Adam Scott.  Meanwhile, I’ll try to forget that Dakota Johnson is in it.
  • Aloha – Again, boring sounding story, but a good cast including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, and John Krasinski.  It’s also the same writer as Elizabethtwon which is one of my all time favorite movies.
  • Tomorrowland – I almost want to leave this one off because it seems like a money grab, but between Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, and Keegan-Michael Key, I had to.
  • Irrational Man – Woody Allen movies are kinda hit and miss for me, but he’s been hitting more often of late (Magic in the Moonlight was great).  Also, Emma Stone and Parker Posey
  • Trainwreck – Amy Schumer is starring in it and she’s hilarious.  Add in Brie Larson and Tilda Swinton and I’m on board.
  • Mistress America – While the story seems a little plain, I’m interested plus Greta Gerwig is in it and I find her to be a wonderful, though under appreciated actress.
  • Life – I really like Dane DeHaan ever since Chronicle and I want to see how he does playing James Dean.  Plus I’m moderately interested in he life of James Dean.
  • Crimson Peak – It looks pretty freaky, but I can’t pass up Guillermo Del Toro and Mia Wasikowska
  • Midnight Special – I’m always down for a story about a kid with special powers (as long as the kid isn’t awful) and Kirsten Dunst is the greatest actress of our generation (mostly an inside joke, but I do really like her).
  • Macbeth – It’s probably my favorite Shakespeare drama and when you add in Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, I’m hooked.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I have to at least see it.  Also, I’m sure it’ll be improved by the presence of Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis.
  • The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
  • The Knight of Cups – Natalie Portman
  • Kingsman – I know this one already came out so I can’t really anticipate it, but I’m putting it on the list anyway.  It’s got Colin Firth who’s great and it somehow reminds me of Kill Bill so there’s that.
  • Kill Me Three Times – The story is super interesting, Simon Pegg is my hero, and the trailer was great.

So there’s my list, hopefully it wasn’t too excruciatingly long and I also hope I was able to point out some lesser known movies for people to check out.

How Best to Love

I find it interesting that for almost every argument in all of Christendom, someone has argued the point that love is the most important thing, that God is love, or that, of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love.  How can this same argument be used for both sides of every disagreement?  I think what it comes down to is we often fundamentally disagree on how best to love those around us.

The definition of love that my pastor likes to use is “to will the good of another” which, while simple and beautiful, leaves a lot of gray area regarding how we ought to act towards one another.  In many instances, it’s self explanatory, don’t murder, steal from, or otherwise harm other people.  In short, treat others as you would like to be treated.  However, what happens when things become a little less clear and how I want to be treated is different from how you want to be treated?  What happens when we act in what we think is someone’s best interest, but in reality, we’re causing more harm than good?

For example, what if I found out a friend was having a difficult time in her relationship with her husband and I decided to bring this up to my prayer group.  I could see that as trying to help and being concerned for my friend’s well being, meanwhile, she could feel hurt and betrayed that I broke her trust.  As another example, many Christians vote against same sex marriage based on their belief that such a relationship would be sinful and therefore decrease a person’s likelihood of entering Heaven.   They do this (or at least claim to do this) out of love, but gay couples hoping to marry see it as rejection of their deepest selves, a dismissal of their rights, or plain hatred.  When we claim to be doing something out of love, we need to honestly examine our motives and be sure what we’re arguing for is the truth and not an unexamined belief.

Now, that’s not to say that we can’t question someone’s actions and confront them out of love.  I definitely believe there is a time and a place to broach the subject of sin in someone’s life, just make sure you don’t have a log in your own eye first.  Also, make sure you and the other person are on the same page.  People aren’t going to want to change their behavior if you haven’t first convinced them that it’s unhealthy/unbiblical and that distinction might not be as clear to them as it is to you.

My Favorite Movies

So, after intending to for several years now, I finally got around to writing up a list of my favorite movies.  I went through everything I’ve ever watched on Netflix and my whole movie collection and listed out everything I thought could be a contender for my favorites list.  I then started comparing them and adjusting them up or down the list accordingly.  It probably still needs a little tweaking, but for the most part, it’s done.  The resulting list is in the Google spreadsheet listed below.  At some point, I should separate them out into action, comedy, and drama categories because it’s really hard to compare those genres, but that’s for another time.

http://goo.gl/6Fxghw

Also, I’ve enabled commenting on the document so if you want to agree, disagree, recommend something not on the list, etc., feel free.

*edit*

I got around to separating out the genres (action, comedy, and drama) which was harder than I was expecting (some like While You Were Sleeping and Stranger Than Fiction were really hard).  I still have the main tab with the full list, then three more tabs for the individual genres.  After separating them, I did a bit more sorting on the resulting lists so those should be a little more accurate.  I didn’t go back and re-sort the main list so that’s still a little wonky, but it’ll have to do.